SARTROUVILLE (France), 15 December
French nursing home leader Yann Reboulleau tried to persuade 92-year-old resident Madeleine Bonnet about the merits of the COVID-19 vaccine, and he had a hard time.
“Are we guinea pigs?” asked Bonnet, who had previously worked as a pharmacist as she sat opposite Reboulleau in the TV room of the “Mon Repos” home while chefs prepared a lunch of bulgur wheat and chicken.
Reboulleau has shown that vaccines undergo extensive testing to ensure they are safe. Capote fired, “But with what certainty?”
Scientists say the development of COVID-19 vaccines — after the first of them will receive regulatory approval for Europe in the coming weeks — will play a huge role in reversing a virus that in France alone has contributed to more than 58,000 deaths. .
But the effectiveness of the vaccine could be compromised, scientists say, by widespread reluctance of people in France to have it. More than half of the population say they will not or probably will not be inoculated, surveys show.
This reluctance is shared at the “Mon Repos” home near Paris, although residents, aged 87 to 100, are among the most vulnerable groups to become seriously ill or die from COVID-19.
In the first wave of the virus earlier this year, the home had a host of infections, during which four residents died.
Nationwide, more than 17,000 of the deaths related to COVID were in care homes and 93 percent of all those who died with COVID-19 had 65 or more, public health figures showed.
Laurent Levasseur, president of Bluelinea, a company that helps care for homes treating the virus, including “Mon Repos,” said his company surveyed residents by phone and those undecided or against the vaccine outnumbered the proponents.
Sitting next to a Christmas tree, Bonnet said she suspects the motives of the pharmaceutical companies rushing to get their vaccines approved and launched in record time.
If their actions were driven by profit, that made her uncomfortable, she said. If the plan promoted medical science, she was supportive and wanted to be a part of it.
For now, however, she has been undecided on whether to have the sting when it will be offered to her. “We’ll see,” she said.